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News Releases from Region 02

EPA Proposes Enhanced Cleanup Proposal for Combe Fill South Landfill site in Chester Township, N.J.

EPA to hold public meeting on August 22, 2018

Contact Information: 
Elias Rodriguez (

(New York, N.Y. – August 10, 2018) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a plan to address a newly identified contaminant and enhance treatment of contamination at the Combe Fill South Landfill site located in Chester Township in N.J., an inactive municipal landfill covering 65 acres. EPA’s proposal includes expanding and enhancing the existing groundwater treatment system that is currently operating at the site in addition to excavating and removing soil and solid waste materials, which are a contributing source of contamination.

"While considerable progress has been made in the cleanup of this site, our proposal takes us a step further by addressing a source of the contamination and allowing us to get at more contamination in the deep groundwater,” said EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez. “Superfund is a powerful tool that helps us address toxic legacies such as poorly run landfills while working in close coordination with state and community partners.”

Today’s plan targets the landfill's impact on a deeper layer of groundwater that is contaminated with volatile organic compounds, including 1,4 dioxane. The current system extracts and treats mostly shallow groundwater directly under the landfill, along with a limited amount of deeper groundwater from the bedrock aquifer below the landfill. EPA is proposing improvements to this treatment system, including, the addition of deeper groundwater extraction wells to capture more contamination. In addition, EPA will make improvements to the plant in order to handle the additional groundwater and effectively treat 1,4-dioxane, a contaminant that has recently been detected at the site but not treated by the current groundwater treatment system. Further, EPA proposes to remove waste materials and soil from a small portion of the landfill that is contributing to the contamination of the deep groundwater. EPA’s cleanup proposal also includes, as an interim step, long-term monitoring of deep groundwater contamination in areas outside the Combe Fill South Landfill Superfund site. EPA will issue a final plan for groundwater contamination after further evaluation of whether the cleanup has been effective.


The Combe Fill South Landfill, in Morris County, NJ, served as a municipal landfill from the 1940s until 1981. Soil and groundwater at the site were contaminated by volatile organic compounds from the landfill. Combe Fill Corporation went bankrupt in 1981 and the landfill was not properly closed. The original cleanup plan for the site included capping the landfill, installing a landfill gas collection system, pumping and treating the shallow groundwater beneath the site, and installing storm water runoff controls. By 1997, these actions were successfully completed. The system to treat shallow groundwater continues to operate at the site.

Starting in the early 1990s, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection began providing in-home water treatment systems to residents whose wells were potentially impacted by contamination coming from the landfill.

In 2015, EPA extended a water line to provide a permanent safe source of drinking water to 73 homes and businesses threatened by contaminated groundwater from the site. With the water line extension providing a permanent safe water supply to the neighborhood around the landfill, homes and local businesses no longer needed treatment systems.

EPA will hold a public meeting on August 22, 2018 to explain the cleanup proposal and other options considered and to take public comments. The meeting will be held at 7:00 p.m. at Chester Town Hall, located at 1 Parker Road, Chester, NJ. Comments will be accepted until September 11, 2018.

Written comments may be mailed or emailed to: Pamela J. Baxter, Ph.D., CHMM, Remedial Project Manager, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 290 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10007 or e-mail:

To learn more about the cleanup or to review EPA’s proposed plan, please visit:

On the one-year anniversary of the EPA’s Superfund Task Force Report, EPA announced significant progress in carrying out the report’s recommendations. These achievements will provide certainty to communities, state partners, and developers that the nation’s most hazardous sites will be cleaned up as quickly and safely as possible.

EPA’s new “Superfund Task Force Recommendations 2018 Update” is available at:

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Superfund Task Force. In May 2017 EPA established a task force to restore the Superfund program to its rightful place at the center of the Agency's core mission to protect health and the environment.